Kwaito legend Mduduzi Tshabalala, better known in the South African music fraternity as Mandoza, died on Sunday, after being taken to hospital earlier in the morning.
The news was confirmed by TMG Entertainment, although there has been nothing forthcoming from the family as yet. The Nkalakatha hitmaker had a tumour in his brain. Prior to this weekend, his condition had been serious, yet stable.
The 38-year-old musician was among the most versatile in the country, having been discovered by King of Kwaito Arthur Mafokate. His rise in the industry was meteoric, and he became an inspiration to many young South Africans throughout his career – a symbol of somebody who had defied all the odds to become one of the country’s greatest music sensations.
His first album, 9II5 Zola South, was a top seller and a sign of major things to come. Just one year later (2000) he released Nkalakatha, which earned multi-platinum status and entrenched Mandoza’s status as one of the foremost and relevant musicians in South Africa.
The title track Nkalakatha was also significant because it broke boundaries, becoming a chart topper on both traditionally black and white radio stations. It was recognised as the best song in South Africa in 2001. However, that was not the end for Mandoza.
The 2000s were defined by Mandoza hit after Mandoza hit. They included: It’s All Right- with Tokollo and Kabelo (2001), Godoba (2002), Tornado (2003), S’gelekeqe (2004), Same Difference – (with Danny K) (2004), Phunyuka Bamphethe (2005), Ngalabesi (2006), Champion (2007), Ingwenya (2008) and Real Deal (2010).